Saturday, March 3, 2012

Why We Lie

Mom and I sometimes lie to my sister.  It is not something we're proud of, but it sometimes serves a purpose. 

I've already told you the tale of the Chocolate Police and about her relationship with Santa.  However, I now have two more examples to share with you.

Recently, Mom switched to using whole wheat pasta.  Lyn looked at dinner and noticed the darker color of the pasta.  She gave The Look and questioned what was wrong with it.  Mom, being the fast thinker that she is, explained that manufacturers now cook pasta longer.  My sister accepted this explanation and ate dinner. 

When a disaster strikes, Lyn will turn to Mom when she sees it on the news and ask "We don't know anyone there, do we?"  If you say "Yes", then she worries for days until she has some confirmation that the person is safe.  As a result, this week's tornadoes caused another lie to be told.  Lyn asked if we know anyone in Harrisburg, Illinois.  We do not.  When Lyn asked if we know anyone in Branson, Missouri, Mom lied when she said "No." 

Telling my sister we know someone in Branson would immediately cause anxiety to set in.  In this case, while we do know someone there, even speaking about that person causes Lyn to get upset.  You see, our father lives there.  However, he divested himself of responsibility for her or the rest of us over three decades ago.  We don't know how much about him she remembers but we do know that any mention of him makes her angry and anxious.  So, why bother? 

I have a hard time believing these lies are morally wrong.

Item to consider:
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University: Lying

6 comments:

  1. We lie the same way to people with Lyn's special needs. Sometimes it's just easier than the alternative.

    Although I wish your mother had been around when I switched to whole wheat pasta with *my* mother -- it would have made life so much easier. :-)

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  2. Sorry -- I meant *without*.

    It's all that whole wheat pasta I've been eating that throws off my words sometimes. :-P

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  3. Thank you for the comment AZThespos. Not everyone believes that a lie, any lie, is acceptable.

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  4. When we have problems with something that "throws" our words off or we do something that makes us go "HUH" I believe we should blame whole wheat pasta or anything else that's healthy. WAIT, I've just lied again, but at least it's not to Lyn.
    Mom

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  5. Are you saying that you lied to me when you said you oven bakes out all the fat and calories? I'm shocked!

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  6. No, I didn't lie about that! The combination of high altitude and high oven temp bakes out all fat & calories. Are you buying this?

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